Nathaniel Christadoss, of Physical Therapy of Melissa, is among nearly 100 physical therapists who own practices from across the country that convened in Washington, DC on July 22 to lobby members of Congress. As part of the first-ever fly-in hosted by the Private Practice Section (PPS) of the American Physical Therapy Association, Christadoss will meet with local Congress and Senate members to discuss hard-hitting issues affecting the future of healthcare, the physical therapy profession, the small business owner, and their patients.

The physical therapists will ask Congress to take action on pending legislation and topics that will enable the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective physical therapy to seniors and other patients in need of rehabilitation. The issues included:

— Sustainable Growth Rate: Physical therapists support the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 574). This bill would repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate formula that determines Medicare payment rates.

— Medicare Therapy Cap: Physical therapists support the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (H.R. 713/S. 367), which would permanently repeal the arbitrary annual per-beneficiary cap for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services. The bill would allow patients the access to physical therapy needed to restore their health and function.

— Medicare Opt Out: Currently, physical therapists are not permitted to opt-out of Medicare and treat Medicare patients privately, even if the patient so chooses. Numerous other professionals are allowed to do so. PPS is asking Congress to be included in the list or professionals allowed to opt-out when doing so would better serve their patients.

"It has been an honor to be invited to our nation’s capital along with many of the top leaders in our industry to lobby the many healthcare concerns we have in our profession," said Christadoss. "Through the years of my clinical practice, I have been able to hear the voices of many concerned patients in regards to their healthcare. It is my priority to address those concerns to our representatives in Washington, DC in order to achieve the best in healthcare not only for our profession, but also for our patients."